Despite what people may say, burning bridges is extremely motivating because you have to push forward. Unfortunately, there are times you have to go back and build that bridge for the better good of all. Below are a few ways to rebuild a relationship you burned to the ground.
- Friendly, Polite Dialogue – When you first reopen conversation, a simple hello or a quick invitation is enough. Just sending a message may be enough, but if you have been blocked, you may need to mention exactly who you are. Send only one quick message until they respond or you could be considered annoying.
- Clear Intentions – Once they have responded, utilize the chance and be open, honest, and upfront about what you want. This is a signal of respect and will help rebuild lost trust. Do not expect the to be a mind reader.
- Love – The reason you rebuild a relationship is either out of need or love, so focus on the other person, even if you only need something. Show them you care and the other person will be more likely to help.
- Build a Bridge – Whatever issues were in the past, leave them there. You can discuss what happened in the past, but dwelling makes it worse. Bridge the gap and move on.
- Be Honest – Even when you disagree, be honest, yet kind. Deceit may not be the reason for the burned bridge, but it will not fix it either. Keep things civil, not offensive or defensive.
- Brainstorming – As you try to rebuild the relationship, involve the other person. If they are speaking to you, they are interested in what you have to say, so ask for their contribution.
- Release Control – Detach yourself from the results. If they do reject you, it will shatter you if you are totally focused on them. Define yourself and own your reaction, but do not expect everything to be perfect.
- Apologize – An apology can resolve many things. At the least, you have an opportunity to forgive yourself and move forward, even if it is without the other person.
- Take Responsibility – Even if you do not feel at fault, take responsibility. This will bridge the gap faster.
- Avoid Creating Conflict – You both have animosity so you know the triggers. Be an adult and avoid pushing these buttons, even if tempted.
- Think Positive – Be positive in life, even if things are not working out. Keep looking forward and let the confidence flow. This will draw the other person to you.
- Be Genuine – No matter what happens, be the real you even if things go wrong. Faking your way through life will not work out well. Just honest and watch as the right doors open.
- Enforce Boundaries – We all have boundaries. Respect the boundaries of others and yourself. Be clear on these boundaries and acknowledge them so both of you know what to respect.
- Keep Steering the Conversation – No matter where the conversation veers to, steer it back to your goal. If it is going well, invite them to a future meeting. If not, simply ask for what you need and accept the answer.
- Let Go – Sometimes, in spite of the best intentions, the other person will not want to reconnect. If they seem combative or uninterested, let it go. There is no reason to waste your time on someone who does not care for you.
Rebuilding a broken relationship is tough because both parties have to face what happened in the first place. If you are looking to reconnect with someone, start with a single text, email, or social media. If they respond, great, open the conversation. If not, move on with the closure you need.